NU Online News Service, March 5, 9:00 a.m. EST

Progressive is planning to launch a new marketing campaign within the next 90 days aimed at upgrading its current company icon.

The company said it is also taking steps to launch its data-collection system for customer discounts for auto insurance.

In a conference call with financial analysts, Glen M. Renwick, president and chief executive officer, said within the next 60 to 90 days Progressive will launch new advertising to promote the company’s fictional spokeswoman, Flo, and Messenger, a character who pops up in unlikely settings to promote the company to consumers.

He said the commercials will include promotion of the company’s electronic data-collection device, Snapshot. The device is plugged into the car’s computer system and collects data on a policyholder’s driving habits over a 30-day period. The device is returned to the company and with the data the customer receives a discount.

Mr. Renwick said the devices are expensive, but because they are recycled and included in the carrier’s pricing, the company feels it is an investment well worth making.

He noted that the company has done its due diligence and is at a “level of comfort” that allows it to launch a wide advertising campaign for the program.

Touching on other business activity for the Mayfield Village, Ohio-based carrier, he said business has improved in Florida to a point where it has come back to profitability this year. He said personal injury protection issues in that state and New York are now “under control.” However, Michigan is of “great concern” because of the allocation of premium to the assigned risk pool there.

“It’s a place where we really have to get it right,” he said.

Asked about the New Jersey market and the auto insurance reforms that took hold in the state close to a decade ago, Mr. Renwick said Progressive feels “reasonably comfortable there” and that the company is pleased it entered the market when it did, adding that “it is a contributing state for us.”